Hobson's Choice: Guaranteed debate

9/2/2005 - Geoff how can Indy afford Simon with their cap room???
Scott
SCOTT:
No doubt they didn't do anything out of the ordinary and stretched the guaranteed $13 million for defensive tackle Corey Simon into future seasons over a prorated length of the deal, which is five or six years depending on what you read.

Here is a best guess, and it's only that. A guess. And it might not be that good.

You have to believe that the Colts gave Simon at least the $5.1 million this year that he would have received if he signed the franchise tender from the Eagles. But that most likely would come in the form of a $5 million bonus and a minimum salary of about $550,000 that would have been less than a $2 million hit on the cap this year.

So how does he get the $8 million next year? If the Colts do what they did on the mega deals with quarterback Peyton Manning and wide receiver Marvin Harrison, they have written in the $8 million as a roster bonus in '06. But when next year comes, they'll give it to him as a signing bonus and re-prorate it so it whittles the cap number.

It's doubtful he'll see all $30 million, but what do Simon and the Colts care? He'll be set for life this time next year, and the Colts have him for this two- or three-year window they have to catch the Patriots with all of their offensive starters in their primes.

It goes against the Bengals' philosophy to prorate money into future years of a contract that the player probably won't see. If it's a six-year deal, the Colts most likely won't be paying a 34-year-old Simon $3 million. He could be cut, and they'd have about $2-3 million of dead money.

The argument against the Bengals is that in order to get top players, they are going to have to cope with some dead money on the back of deals instead of paying as you go each year of the cap. The Bengals counter with the belief that dead money ties you up down the road. The fan argument is, "Let's Win Now, To Heck With 2010."

Simon is probably a bad example. There weren't a lot of people in the organization clamoring to give a D Tackle all that up-front money. For a sacker, a cornerback, or an offensive tackle, I don't think they'd blink. But not a down lineman, a spot where you already have two relatively high paid guys in John Thornton and Bryan Robinson with multi years left on their deals.

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